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What’s a Screw Extractor?

We’ve all faced a stripped or rusty screw that just won’t budge and wondered: <em>What now? </em>It’s a hopeless situation. There’s the screw. Here is the screwdriver – but, the two won’t fit together and your patience is waning.</br></br>If only there were some kind of affordable tool or machine designed specifically for this purpose!</br></br>Well, get ready to be happy, because such a thing exists and it’s entirely possible that <em>no one told you about it.</em></br></br><strong>Screw Extractor Types</strong></br></br><a title="Extractors &amp; Nut Splitters" href="http://www.atgstores.com/tools/hand-tools/extractors-nut-splitters/" target="_blank">Screw extractors</a> come in a few different types and the kind you want may depend on the kinds of tools you already do (or do not) have. Extractors may work in combination with a <a title="Drills" href="http://www.atgstores.com/tools/power-tools/drills-and-drivers/drills/" target="_blank">drill</a> or <a title="Sockets &amp; Ratchets" href="http://www.atgstores.com/tools/hand-tools/sockets-ratchets/?linkloc=tn" target="_blank">socket wrench</a>, or may come with their own tap and die set.</br></br>You can choose the type that fits your tool set, but keep in mind that you’ll probably need a drill either way to make the pilot hole in the screw you’re extracting.</br></br><strong>Using a Screw Extractor</strong></br></br><em>Step 1: </em>Choose a <a title="Drill Bits" href="http://www.atgstores.com/tools/power-tools/drills-and-drivers/drill-bits/" target="_blank">drill bit</a> smaller than the diameter of the screw you’re removing. (NOTE: Bits that come with screw extractor sets are hardened for the purpose; if you're not using one of these, be sure your bit is designed for metalwork.)</br></br><em>Step 2:</em> Drill into the center of the screw to a depth of at least 1/8 inch; you don’t have to go far for the extractor to work.</br></br>Step 3: Insert the extractor and turn counterclockwise to remove the screw. (NOTE: How you insert the extractor will depend on the type you have. If you have a tap and die type, first tap in the extractor with a hammer to make sure it seats well. If using a drill or socket type, simply insert the extractor bit into your tool to use it.</br></br>Ta da! Now you have a foolproof way of fixing those stripped screws. Also, keep in mind that screw extractors also work for stripped and stubborn bolts, too.
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